The Silence of the Lambs Musical
Presented as part of the 9th Annual New York International Fringe Festival
Lucille Lortel Theatre
121 Christopher Street
New York, NY
August 12-28, 2005
Music & Lyrics by Jon & Al Kaplan
Book by Hunter Bell
Directed by Christopher Gattelli
Music Direction by Brian J. Nash
Stephen Bienskie, Harry Bouvy, Deidre Goodwin, Jenn Harris, Jeff Hiller, Lisa Howard, Paul Kandel, Howard Kaye
SILENCE! the Musical is the unauthorized parody of the 1991 Oscar winning film, The Silence of the Lambs, with music and lyrics by Jon & Al Kaplan and book by Hunter Bell.
Entertainment Weekly has called the music “creepy fun.” It’s been a cult hit online for years. Now it’s coming to the stage, live! Rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling must match wits with the brilliant but insane cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter to catch the man behind a string of gruesome kidnappings and murders, known only as “Buffalo Bill.” Sound familiar? Well this time, the action is narrated by a Greek chorus of lambs, and everyone breaks out into cheerful showtunes about the most horrific of subjects.
Only when the writers delve most fervently into their characters’ overblown eccentricities do they find the biggest laughs. (This is and always has been the secret to top-notch parody.) This is seldom better demonstrated than in a song sung by Lisa Howard (in her off hours from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as a Washington lawmaker whose daughter Bill kidnaps. Her faux-passionate song, which consists of little more than repeating her daughter’s name and plastic platitudes over and over again, is one of the only times a riff on a single moment from the movie builds to a legitimate, show-stopping size. (Howard also plays the daughter, with an exasperated enthusiasm that’s strangely infectious for a girl about to be made into a coat.)